OTTAWA — The Conservative government’s stated commitments, as part of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), are nothing but fluff according to New Democrat MPs Charlie Angus (Timmins–Baie James) and Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont–La Petite Patrie).
“There are serious gaps in the Conservative plan. It does nothing to reinforce rules around transparency, corruption and waste prevention. The government only committed to the strict minimum, which gives us no choice but to question their real intentions,” said Angus, Official Opposition Critic for Ethics, Access to Information and Privacy.
Currently meeting in Brazil, the OGP is a multilateral initiative that encourages countries to commit to the principles of open government, including transparency, citizen participation and accountability through technology and innovation. “Since 2006, Canada has lagged behind other countries. By making such limited commitments now, I fear it’ll be easy for the Conservatives to claim they’re respecting open government while doing almost nothing,” said Angus.
“This government is doing everything in its power to be as untransparent as possible,” added Boulerice. “Whether it’s unaccountable spending for the G8, the purchase of F-35 fighter jets without a call for tenders or the voter suppression scandal, the Conservatives are simply not credible on ethics and accountability. And when you add to that their decision to close scientific agencies and gut environmental assessments, Conservatives are actually working against open government and are creating a culture of secrecy.”
A New Democrat government would work in collaboration with civil society to establish an inclusive approach to open governance, giving Canadians the full benefits of real transparency.